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Chris Harris: “It feels like last year for me.”

Chris Harris Jr. is finding himself unable to make many plays due to teams scheming to take him out of the equation.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are the same record at this point in 2018 as they were in 2017, despite losing close games as opposed to being blown out like they were during the losing streak last year.

In many ways, losing those games hurt even more, especially for players like Chris Harris Jr.

“Definitely, especially for me,” Harris said after the game. “When I just can’t change the game and can’t affect the game, that’s what really frustrates me. When I can’t change the game and they’re kind of scheming like that. I want to make plays and help this team win. They just wouldn’t let me.”

Harris is a shutdown corner and teams know it. Against the Houston Texans, I can think of two plays where Deshaun Watson went the man Harris was covering. That kind of respect was something I haven’t seen since Champ Bailey saw his side of the field targeted once or twice a game.

For Harris, being out there doing his job and not seeing opportunities to make a big play come his way is even more frustrating for him.

“It’s frustrating. When you lose and you know you’re capable of beating this team. We had them. I pride myself in being able to make game-changing plays and being able to change the game. It’s just like last year. I’m just kind of out there. It feels like last year for me.”

The defense held the Texans to 19 points, but that wasn’t enough. They gave up one very easy touchdown pass and rather than blame the offense for only scoring 17 points, Harris is looking at the one play as the play they (the defense) just had to make and didn’t.

“We just have a small [margin for] error. We can’t mess up too much. We can’t just give people easy touchdowns when they’re double-teamed. We just can’t do stuff like that. We’ve got to play smarter football, cleaner football. That’s going to give us the chance to win. Those good teams, those games today, they pull those out.”

The play in question was one where Justin Simmons put himself in poor position for the easy touchdown catch in what should have been double-coverage.

Even though the Broncos defense played a good game, this play is the one Harris can’t let go of. It’s the little mistakes that are costing this team on both sides of the ball and the wins are not going to come any time soon if they don’t clean this up.